Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Musings with a Mavenista- A bit of random philosophy and a photography challenge.

An artist needs an environment of both freedom and containment in order to thrive.

Just as a child's imagination is set free best in the confinement of boredom. 
The best childhood games one remembers tend to have been created on lazy summer days when grown ups were either too busy, too tired, or perhaps too smart, to constantly entertain or assign tasks.

True artistic creativity is born within similar limits and constraints.
 Ingenuity develops in an attempt to circumvent the inflexible, boring, and predictable. 
 To break the rules, though not really, but merely bending them to one's liking.

Absolute freedom does not breed true creativity-
 it only breeds chaos with no direction or imperatives.
A revolution with no cause is an environment ripe with fear and confusion.

We all know the paralysis of indecision that comes from staring at a blank page or canvas.

If, however, there is a set of rules, a plan in place, it gives an artist a place to begin their journey. 
Set not a destination, but set out on the adventure to be had in between the guidelines of the pathway.

Doing not only the best with what we've got or been given,
 but in fact doing something amazing, 

That's where Snap Maven comes in. 

Confines needn't be extensive. Rules needn't require volumes to explain.
 Sometimes all you need is a nudge in a particular direction or another. 

So we at Snap Maven suggest places to explore. 
Sometimes we even suggest how or when,
 but we leave it totally up to you to produce "AMAZING."

Each week we are not dissapointed.

Since the beginning we have offered weekly theme prompts. 
Then we added Experiments and Weekly Favorites.
 In retrospect, "Experiments and Weekly Favorites" may have been 
too broad a playground to start our journey in. 

From now on, each week, on Mondays, 
I will challenge you to frame your experiments and weekly favorites 
around a specific visual design rule.
I will also probably wax poetic on random artistic philosophy. 
You can accept this challenge, or you can keep submitting whatever you like for these themes.
This challenge here is simply to act as a nudge to push you in the direction of a journey.
I can't wait to see the 
that results. 

My first challenge to you is based on your use of

Line can be used in so many ways. They are literally everywhere. 
A line is simply a point that has gone for a walk.
That journey can be a straight one or curvy one, 
but if it completes a trip back to it's starting point, 
it's status as a line ceases and it must adopt a new status as a shape. 
Be careful to look for lines, as opposed to shapes. 
Lines lead us somewhere. Shapes contain us.

Lines help create perspective. 
In the above image the lines of the freezer cases lead you 
directly to the middle of the frame and to my daughter's face. 
These lines also create boxes and triangles which create the illusion of space and depth, 
but also keep the subject confined in that space. 
There are also lines created by the reflected colors on the glass doors and the shelves.
These lines all lead to a vanishing point somewhere in the vicinity of her heart.

Lines can convey motion. 
These lines literally spin my daughter around the space in this image.

Lines can be implied.
You cannot see the air here, but you know it has travelled in a forward path to blow her hair,
thus creating a line that begins on the left of the frame
leading your eye through the frame to the right edge.

Lines can be used to create composition. This line of the hose leads you to meet her foot very close to a point on the rule of thirds grid. It also frames the subject away from the negative space on the left.

A fun exercise to try  is to print out some of your images in low quality on your printer. 
Look for the lines in the images.
Use a red pencil, pen, marker, etc. to trace over the lines as I have done in the above images.
You may start to recognize the times you have used lines unconsciously.
Now do the same thing with other photographers images that you admire, 
 or use images from magazines.
Very soon, after training yourself to consciously SEE the lines, 
you will begin to incorporate
them unconsciously in your images. 

I have one more challenge for you. Line is one of the 7 key elements of art.
What that means is that there are a lot of tutorials about how to use it.
The idea has been used as a theme prompt ad nauseum. 
My challenge to you, is to FIND a way to make it different.

I am also a student in this journey. I would love to be taught new things along the way.
Where I miss things or don't cover them, feel free to call me out on it
Show me the angles I neglected and why and how they should be used.
Let's all journey along together shall we? 

Love and Feathers,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts